The Next 25 Years

Greetings!  I’m doing quite well at the moment – nice to feel ‘wanted’ because of YWAM NZ’s attempt at 50days of 24-7 prayer rooms …

Yesterday, I FINALLY handed in my application for a 2 year religious worker’s permit and multi-entry visa (nice catchy title):  I feel like I’ve been getting this ready for years now – definitely since last July/August, anyway.  So you can imagine what a relief it is that it’s no longer in my hands.

But I would appreciate it if you prayed for it, and my future in general.  As you might know, I’m not really the sort of person that God seems to see the need of giving 10 year Masterplans to, leaving me always a bit unsure of what’s actually going on.  But I see this application as a kind of statement of intent, y’know?  That, for the next 2 years at least, this is where I’ll be.  What shape (YWAM/24-7/Factory/other) that takes, I don’t mind too much, but when you’re as young and beautiful as I am, 2 years can feel like forever!

I have so many places I want to go (and live, not just visit) so it’s pretty weird to have ended up in one of the ones I was never really that interested in, y’know?  Maybe 2 years more will be all that there is, but even writing that doesn’t quite sound right, so I don’t know.  But at the same time, I could have applied for a 3 year visa, but felt that I shouldn’t, so I don’t know what God’s doing there either.

I’m heading back to Britain in May, principally to watch England win the Ashes (I like trying to read God’s mind), but maybe lots and lots of other stuff too, and I’m really quite expectant about it all, cos again, it wasn’t my plan.  I’ll be at the Factory (www.the-factory.net) for most of that time, I guess, but I’m open to suggestions!

Lots of love to you …

Crawling Again ;)

I like Embrace quite a bit, which rather spoils the general state of my coolness, but nevermind.  This song makes me smile …

GLORIOUS DAY

Who could send something so pure to lure me away?
I fought with the last of my breath

But you came along on a glorious day
By the time that you left, I was crawling again
Yeah, you came along on a glorious day
Now I want you to save me again

Let them all keep their plans
Cos all I want is in my hands
And I can’t look down
Back then I had it all
And now I want it back, that’s all
And I can’t get out!

Easter

" And at Easter we eat chocolate eggs, because the colour of the chocolate, and the colour of the wood on the cross …"  [Eddie Izzard spots a flaw]

It’s Good Friday today, and (as usual) there’s not a whole lot of me that ‘responds’ to that.  (Does anyone actually know where the word ‘Easter’ comes from, by the way?)  Sometimes I wish I had been brought up in the High Church where you tend to receive a heightened understanding of these sorts of things, but the deal with me really is that I’m not very event-oriented, so I generally don’t respond to ‘festival’-type days, even the Jesus ones.

But at the same time, I’m super aware of how much I need saving.  There’s nothing good in these bones.

‘Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners, and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us.  He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be.  And He did it by means of Jesus Christ.’  [the Bible]

Thank You Jesus, thank You for all of it.  I feel like a pretty crap reward, but I want to be your treasure.  Love you.

ra-di-ra-di-ra-di-ra

Hi hi and hi again.

I’m feeling up, down, and all around once again, but that’s okay.  My cheek is pretty much fine now (but some of my teeth still don’t really have the feeling back yet) so yeah, I think we can say goodbye to that episode.

I’ve only got about 6 weeks more in NZ before I head back to Britain for a bit (and GOODNESS knows why I’m coming back – it doesn’t make lots of sense, but when you feel that God is saying something, you have to go along with it, don’t you?) and it’s one of those funny little periods of who-knows-what: YWAM NZ are doing 50days of 24-7 (starting on Sunday – could mean a fair bit of work …); my 2 year visa application goes in tomorrow; and there are 3 conferences that I’m involved with during April, which might involve me doing some speaking.

So yeah, it kind of feels like a ‘big’ few weeks, which is weird when to be honest I’m feeling like I just want to be ‘at home’ at The Factory at the moment.  Or maybe that’s just how I feel today.  Two days ago I was practically over-the-moon with the joy of being-exactly-who-I-am (really hitting my stride) with some new friends here.  Maybe I just need a hug.

Flipping OUCH!!

Hi there.

Was just out walking and got hit by a guy who came up to talk to me – can you pray for me please?  That kind of thing’s never happened to me before, so it gave me quite a shock/scare, and it flipping hurts too (my left cheekbone – nothing serious, but very ouch).

I’m in town until Monday, and there’s no way I want to feel scared of going outside the house or anything like that, so please pray for me (Ps. 142:7) and for those boys too – the one that hit me had those eyes that look like he’s got a passenger on board, so please pray for him.

Thank you so much.  Apart from the ouch, I’m doing fine.

Gratefulness & Guilt

This week I am up in Kaitaia (right up at the top of the top of NZ), house-sitting a house of prayer which doesn’t really seem to be used much.  It’s very nice, but not much going on.

And since I have virtually no responsibilities apart from being here, it means I’m free to potter around doing the odds and ends of the things that make up my life.  And because I’m quite enjoying myself, I feel bad.  It’s a phenomenon that I wasn’t warned about before joining YWAM; what I’m calling Volunteer Sickness.

The deal is something like this, I think:  if someone employs you, and you enjoy it, then that’s great!  It’s their money; it’s their decision – what can you do?!  But if you are a volunteer and depend for your livelihood on handouts (which you can call living by faith if you want to sound spiritual), you seem to go in cycles of gratefulness and guilt: you can never work hard enough to justify the generosity of others, so you feel that unless you’re working every second you’re being irresponsible with their investment in you.

I have this ALL THE TIME – it’s such a weird thing, and since saying thank you just doesn’t seem to cut it, I don’t know what the way out is.  Learning to be at peace with God’s perspective, I suppose …

The Bad Cow

Last weekend, I wrote a lovely little short story called The Bad Cow.  It’s great, especially when read out loud with a fitting soundtrack.  But anyway, I wanted to share an excerpt from it with you, so here goes:

Jamie and Sally were in love. Yes they were. And to prove it (to themselves as much as to each other), they had woken up before dawn and driven out into the countryside.
Hand in hand, they strolled romantically along wooded footpaths, across small burbling streams, through meadows bejewelled with flowers, and up gently sloping hills. And all before breakfast time.
It was a truly beautiful day; one of the sort that do not exist in cities. The combination of the warmth of the sun, the cool of the breeze, and the early morning light dancing on dew-dropped spiderwebs all served to create an impression that if all the humans in the world suddenly ceased to exist, the world wouldn’t miss them too much.

It had been Sally’s idea to enjoy this adventure. Her earliest memories were of the small village of her childhood, before her life had been swallowed up within the borders of a new town. Concrete constricted her, streetlamps made her yearn for starlight, and somehow she missed the smell of newly spread silage – this sort of thing made her feel young.
Sadly, Jamie’s experience of the countryside was rather more limited, and his present appreciation was not what you would call avid. His head was sore from the early start, his feet were soggy from walking through the dew, and his legs could not comprehend that some people find pleasure in this sort of thing. He did not. But since they had not yet reached that stage of their relationship where they were willing to express such honesty, he remained silent and tried to think romantic thoughts. Love will make a martyr of you.

So they strolled on, hand in hand, both convinced (with varying degrees of accuracy) of the wonderful time that the other was having. They smiled, they pointed, they leaned on each other, they inwardly recited the lyrics of ‘Heaven’ by Bryan Adams: it was lovely.

[There is a cow in it at some point, by the way …]

Let Loose

They sang:

You’ve got me just where You want me …
I’m crazy, crazy for you.  And there’s nothing that I wont do
I’m caught by the look in Your eye
And it’s all for the love of You

[My sister was quite a big fan, and now I’m not a teenager, I can like them too!]

I’m feeling very ’emotionally needy’ at the moment (d’you know what I mean?), which, I need hardly say, is just a big ball of laughs:  I need to be hugged (and held on to) ALL the time and feel lonely and so on with no provocation at all.  It’s annoying.  I’m not actually moaning or anything, cos I’m realising that God made me sensitive, and it’s a wicked thing to be like that, and feeling all over the place heart-wise is just a part of the territory.

And yeah, our prayer room has been just flipping fantastic, by the way: just so so much good stuff that I wont bother saying it – will try and get some photos soon.

I’m off up to Kaitaia for the week now (tomorrow lunchtime anyway) to house-sit a House of Prayer, whatever that means …

this prayer room thing

I came back from my little break feeling mostly decent but very peopled out, and then didn’t get the hugs I needed immediately on arrival, so my heart was just ready to go for a nosedive.  But fortunately, I was required to go and help set up our church’s 24-3 prayer room, and that saved me, really:  I managed to be in there for an hour and a half before Jay & Erin arrived, and by the time we were finished, I was so so encouraged/relieved/expectant that I kind of remembered why I ‘believe’ in this prayer room thing.

I mean, it’s very easy to have something and do it as your job, and go around smiling and nodding when people talk about how they’re expecting the whole world to change in a week.  Yes it is. But now it’s MY church doing it, and I’m the guy who is supposed to know how it works and all.  I realised quite a while ago that you can’t fake a prayer room – you prepare and all, but it’s either God’s thing or it’s just us, y’know?  But now that WE are doing it I feel funny, cos if it ‘works’, then Praise the Lord (al hamdu lil-lah).  But if it doesn’t, then LET’S SHOOT DAVID!!

Hence, it was a HUGE relief (amongst lots of other things) when I arrived at our room, and found that 6 or 7 people had turned up very early, so we’d already started.  And then, when 9pm arrived and a pile of the kids from Momentum (our youth group) came in, I was quite thrilled at how they all just threw themselves at doing stuff (despite not having it explained, and despite quite a few not being Christians).

So yes, it seems to be okay!

miss Kelley

I’m on a little mini-break at the moment, and will today be running off to spend some time with my friend Kelley – we used to work together last year in Tauranga, and now she’s leaving to go back to the States …

I’ve often found making friends a very slow and frustrating process in NZ, so when one of the friendships that actually really works (she is one of the bestBESTbest people) ceases to be ‘there’, it’s quite hard.  I’m the kind of person that, given permission, will love people so much that even I get uncomfortable with it, and it’s funny to try and work out what to do with that, when you’re in a ‘saying goodbye’ stage – I love Kelley with all my heart.

And it is always funny (/flipping annoying) to say things like that, and have people to look at you funny with a glint in their eyes because I’m talking about a girl.  I mean yes, such is the way of the world, but it’s not the way of me.